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Enroe J. Jealous v. the State of Wyoming

December 30, 2011

ENROE J. JEALOUS, APPELLANT (DEFENDANT),
v.
THE STATE OF WYOMING, APPELLEE (PLAINTIFF).



Appeal from the District Court of Fremont County The Honorable Norman E. Young, Judge S-11-0097

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Golden, Justice.

Before KITE, C.J., and GOLDEN, HILL, VOIGT, and BURKE, JJ.

NOTICE:

This opinion is subject to formal revision before publication in Pacific Reporter Third. Readers are requested to notify the Clerk of the Supreme Court, Supreme Court Building, Cheyenne, Wyoming 82002, of any typographical or other formal errors so that correction may be made before final publication in the permanent volume.

[¶1] Appellant Enroe J. Jealous appeals his conviction for aggravated assault and battery, alleging that the district court committed reversible error in failing to properly instruct the jury on the elements of the crime. We disagree and affirm.

ISSUE

[¶2] Jealous offers this issue for our consideration:

Did reversible error occur when the trial court issued a confusing and misleading jury instruction, which was not in accordance with Wyoming law, and then failed to correct the error in response to a jury question?

FACTS

[¶3] During the afternoon hours of December 29, 2009, Adrian Moss, Jealous' cousin, and her boyfriend, Jason Antelope (Jason), got into an argument while they were at the residence of Wendall Antelope, Sr. (Wendall), Jason's brother. Moss telephoned Jealous, upset and crying, and requested a ride away from the residence. Jealous, his brother, and two other individuals arrived at the residence a short time later.

[¶4] After placing her belongings in the vehicle, Ms. Moss situated herself in the front passenger seat. While the couple continued to bicker, Jason leaned inside the window to give her a hug. Shortly thereafter, Jason felt something hit his cheek, and he immediately withdrew from the car. He then noticed Jealous' brother placing a pellet pistol underneath the back seat. Jason backed away, and Jealous and the other occupants exited the vehicle. Jealous then retrieved a pellet rifle from the trunk and loaded it.

[¶5] Meanwhile, alerted by his wife that something was occurring between Jason and the vehicle's occupants, Wendall rushed outside to protect his brother. However, by the time Wendall got to the area, Jealous had twice shot Jason in the face, hitting him in the left cheek and upper lip. Jealous then reloaded the rifle and pointed it at Wendall's head. When Wendall saw the rifle, he shielded his face with his left arm and told Jealous to put down the weapon. Jealous did not immediately fire, but waited until Wendall had lowered his arm and then shot him in the right eye. The pellet caused irreparable damage to Wendall's eye, and it was surgically removed two weeks later.

[¶6] Jealous and his group then fled the scene. Upon being stopped by police a short time later, Jealous lied about his identity and denied having a pellet gun and shooting the victims. Ms. Moss initially tried to protect Jealous by taking responsibility for the shootings. However, she recanted her confession the next day. Police thereafter learned of Jealous' true identity and his involvement in the shootings but did not locate and arrest him until three months later.

[¶7] The State initially charged Jealous with four counts of aggravated assault and battery, two counts of reckless endangering, and one count of interference with a peace officer. However, the State later elected to dismiss five of the seven charges and to proceed to trial on two counts of aggravated assault and battery under Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 6-2-502(a)(i) (LexisNexis 2011),*fn1 which alleged that Jealous caused serious bodily injury to Jason Antelope (Count I) and Wendall Antelope, Sr., (Count II) "intentionally, knowingly or recklessly under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life."

[ΒΆ8] At the conclusion of the State's case-in-chief, Jealous moved for judgment of acquittal on both counts. The district court found insufficient evidence proving that Jealous caused serious bodily injury to Jason and granted Jealous' motion for judgment of acquittal on Count I but denied his motion with respect to Count II. The trial continued and the jury ultimately found Jealous guilty on that count. The jury specifically found that Jealous had acted both intentionally and knowingly, as well as recklessly under circumstances showing extreme indifference to the value of human life, in ...


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